7th to 9th June

Saturday 7 June

In the morning, we were thinking of visiting the centre of Puebla, but the sky is threatening! and soon enough, it starts to rain. So we rest at Pepito’s house. In the afternoon, we go to Pepito’s sister house, for the birthday of her husband. We see there the family of Pepito, his other sister, and his many nephews and nieces. The house is near the town of Atlixco, on the first ramps of the Popocatepetl. Unfortunately, it’s cloudy today, and we cannot see much of the majestuous volcano. I think we are jinxed with the volcanoes, the same story happened already in Ecuador.

At night, we go nearby, to a luxurious house in a condominium, belonging to the family of Mariana, the girlfriend of Pepito. For sure 15 people can fit in this house without problem.

Sunday 8 June

We spend the day in this house. Pepito thought, with his experience of cyclotouring, that we would enjoy to have a rest this weekend. And he was right. After a great breakfast, we enjoy the rest, the calm around the house, and the internet connexion to update the website.

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After the intensive life we had in Colombia and Mexico city, we were quite late. And also the weather is not collaborating for us to go out, it’s always cloudy, threatening to rain, or raining. This year, the season of hurricanes has arrived quite early on Mexico. Half of the month of June should be calm, but since the beginning of this month, there has always been rain, and hurricanes or storm in the South of the country (Chiapas, Oaxaca, Tabasco, Guerrero).

Monday 9 June

In the morning, we visit the city of Puebla, well in fact its two most important religious buildings: the cathedral, built in the 17th century, and the Capilla del Rosario, also built at the end of the 17th century, and filled with gold ornaments.

Then, Mariana brings us to Cholula. It is a town in the suburbs of Puebla.

The streets of Cholula
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We can find there the biggest pre-Hispanic pyramid of all America. The base is a square of 450m side, and it reaches 66m above the ground (according to the Guiness Book of records, it is the largest monument ever constructed, taking into account the volume of material needed, 4.45 million cubic metres here compared to 2.5 million cubic metres of the Great Pyramid of Giza!). It was built from the 3rd century BCE till the 9th century CE. Then it was abandoned, and even recovered by earth by the locals, before the arrival of the Spanish, giving it the appearance of a strange hill. In the beginning of the 20th century, they dug tunnels inside the hill to verify if it was a pyramid or not.

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When Hernan Cortes arrived, from the top of the pyramid (more looking like a hill now), he sees the old city of Cholula, and many temples in it. He counts 365 temples, that is to say one per day (in fact there were 435). Since then, the city of Cholula has the reputation in Mexico of having 365 churches, one for each day of the year (whereas it has “only” 38 churches in the city, and 90 churches in the whole municipality). The colons, observing the importance of the pyramid for the indigenes, decided to build a church on its top, to replace the former temple. It is now the Church of Our Lady of the Remedies.

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We were supposed to see four volcanoes from the top of the pyramid! but due to the clouds, we don’t see any.

In the evening, we go to see something typically Mexican: a wrestling show. A match consists of two teams of three people fighting. They are allowed to use all the means they want to crush the opponent (inside or outside the ring).

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In fact, it is arranged between the fighters, so that the punches seem extreme, and can be acrobatic. One of the team represents the good guys, respecting the rules, and making acrobatic attacks, while the other teams is fighting dirty, cheating, with brutality. A team scores a point when the three fighters of the other team are out of combat. And two points are required to need the match. The good guys do not always win. They generally wear a mask and a costume (you have the King Scorpio, the gay, the Hell’s Angel, a few super heroes! many stereotypes). You must see this not as an impartial sport, but as a folkloric show, with stories and acrobatics. The most interesting is to see the audience captivated by this show, encouraging and shouting at the fighters.

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Here comes the video, get ready for the fight!